When most people go on vacation, they bring back a souvenir. Photographs, knickknacks, and commemorative t-shirts may do a poor job of capturing the essence of a foreign country, but their true value lies in their ability to evoke memories and connect a person to his past. You can do the exact same thing (but better!) with a souvenir aquarium. Yeah, I know that the idea sounds a little bit silly at first, but if you bear with me it’ll all make sense.
Now, I’m not saying that you should bring back fish souvenirs. That would make navigating airport security an absolute nightmare. What I am saying is that you can construct an aquascape that represents your favorite spot on Earth.
Let’s say, for example, that you went to Australia and had the best time of your life. You could bring back a didgeridoo or a little stuffed kangaroo, but why go with cliche souvenirs when you can break the mold with something that’s truly unique? Imagine instead of buying a few cheap trinkets from a gift store, you instead construct an Australia-themed aquarium.
There are a couple of ways you could pull this off. Personally, I would want to create an aquascape using native Australian wildlife. You could have your aquascape filled with fish and coral from the Great Barrier Reef. Dump a vial of Australian sand into the aquarium to add a bit of authenticity, and it will be like you have a tiny slice of Australia in your own home or office.
Alternatively, you can draw inspiration from the Australian landscape as you design your aquascape. Imagine creating an Uluru-inspired centerpiece for your aquarium made out of rich red rocks. For the more metropolitan aquascapers out there, you could arrange branches and plants in a configuration that is reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House. Add indigenous Australian fish and you’ve got a double-whammy.
What I love so much about this idea is that it creates an incredibly powerful bond to your dream vacation spot. Unlike t-shirts and knickknacks, which are static and were probably made in China, aquascapes are living ecosystems that change and grow with every passing day. An aquarium gives you something real to connect to, a way to experience the wildlife of Australia whenever you want.
Obviously, Australia is just one example. You have near unlimited options as you transform your favorite vacation spot into a custom aquascape. You could create a Wabi-Kusa Japanese aquarium and fill it with Japanese koi, you could create a blackwater aquarium that replicates the Amazon River, or you could create a saltwater aquascape that pulls in species from the English Channel. No matter where you go (well, unless you visit places like the Sahara Desert or Death Valley), you can easily bring a slice of that country back with you. Don’t settle for an “I love Australia” t-shirt or a cheap, kitschy boomerang. Create a thriving custom aquascape that will serve as a link to your favorite spot on Earth.